Fish uses tool

A series of shots including the one above are thought to be the first photographic evidence from the wild of a fish using a tool. It shows a blasckspot tuskfish about to smash a cockle against a rock to expose its flesh for eating. Scott Gardner took the photos back in 2006 at a depth of 60 feet in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Scienctists have just now published their study on the images and related data, titled "Tool use in the tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii?." "Carry-out Cockles"


  1. Even as a kid I was uncomfortable when folks would assign the word “tool” to things used by members of other species to get through their daily activities (the ant covered twig “tool” used by chimps, for instance) If you asked this tuskfish what it was doing, it might tell you that it’s using a “thing” from its immediate environment to get something to eat. A “tool” is our word, not the tuskfish’s word (if tuskfish have words…) I know this all enters into the gray world of semantics, but we humans tend to mis-apply our terms and phrases to members of the innocent animal world – and then we screw up their world(s) – great photo!

  2. The fish would be “using a tool” if it lifted a stone to hit the cockle until it cracks. Just hitting the cockle against a hard surface doesn’t qualify (in my and plenty of other people’s opinion). “Using a tool” requires manipulating the item that is the tool.

    1. So those manual orange juicers (the ones you smash 1/2 an orange down on) aren’t tools? What about anvils?

      Go fish! I say we save to planet till we at least know how cool it is.

    2. Addtionally, I thought that a “tool” was an object that the animal would use again, a single-use object is an “implement”

  3. Soon they will be walking and using computers as tools to comment on boingboing like the rest of us.

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